Like an animal

– I posted this story before, but this version was edited by Mick Stern. His stories and poems were published by TheWriteDeal and other publishers. Here it goes:

More like a dog. A loyal, happy and alert dog. Like those you see in the park trying to guess which way their owners are going to throw the ball.

That’s how my mother jumped from the chair when – long after the divorce – my father said hesitantly, when dinner was over, “Rosa, do you think there is…?”

She went to the kitchen to make coffee. “Only if there is some already made!” he  concluded in a firm voice. But the ball was far away and the dog was focused on the job.

It was neither machismo nor feminism. Neither kindness nor social rule. It was an animal thing.

To me the coffee was a complete mystery. The leap into the kitchen, the nicest cup, the best smile.

Today I thought. Wasn’t she an animal, the woman who kicked the elevator door? The teacher who told the dean to stop acting irresponsibly? The mother who called us vultures and then asked if we loved her. The woman who laid down on a man’s bed and got up right away, thinking I’m still married.

Actions are not logic. They spread through life in contrary directions. But modes of being are coherent and compact. Each person has his own. Like a dog, she licked us and bit us, so why should it surprise me that, like a dog, she growled at my father and anticipated his desires?

They could have explained this to me. I am the kind of person who pays attention. But no. Just now this man comes along, a silent and shrewd cat, telling me there’s nothing wrong with serving coffee.


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